Commodity Trading – Start for Free

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Contents

Commodity.com: Your Go-To Resource For Gold, Oil & Much More [+ Free Lessons To Start Trading Today]

Last Updated on May 18, 2020

Learn About Commodities and Commodity Trading

Are you interested in commodities and commodities trading? Then you’ve come to right place because we have everything you need to learn about both.

In this article, we explain what commodities are, how they are traded, and what drives their prices.

Once you have that under your belt, you can check out How to Trade Commodities. There we teach you about trading in these global markets.

Ready to get started? Read on!

What are Commodities?

A commodity is a basic good or raw material in commerce that people buy and sell. Commodities are often the building blocks for more complex goods and services.

Commodities are different from other types of goods in that they are standardized and interchangeable with goods of the same type. These features make commodities fungible. This means that two units of the same commodity should have mostly uniform prices any place in the world (excluding local factors such as the cost of transportation and taxes).

Generally, commodities are extracted, grown, produced, and traded in large enough quantities to support liquid and mostly efficient global trading markets. These markets provide a transparent way for commodity producers, consumers, and financial traders to transact business.

Examples of commodities include wheat, copper, and crude oil.

How Did Commodities Evolve?

Commodities trace their origins to the beginnings of human civilization.

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Sumeria (Modern-Day Iraq)

Roughly 6,500 years ago, the Sumerians began using clay tokens as a form of money to purchase livestock.

Buyers would place these tokens in sealed clay vessels and record the quantities, times, and dates of the transactions on writing tablets. In exchange for the vessels, merchants would deliver goats to the buyers.

These transactions were a primitive form of commodity futures contracts. Other civilizations soon began using valuables such as pigs and seashells as forms of money to purchase commodities.

China

Commodities trading was not limited to the Middle East, however. At roughly the same time that the Sumerians were trading livestock, the Chinese were trading rice — thousands of years after it was first cultivated.

Greece

Much later, starting around 700 BC, the ancient Greeks (and later the Romans) settled on coinage as the favored way for transacting business in commodities.

They prized gold and silver for their luster and physical beauty. Since gold and silver are rare and can be melted, shaped, and measured into coins of equal size, they began to be used as monetary assets.

Exchanging gold for goods and services became the preferred means of commerce in the ancient world and led gold to become the first widely traded commodity.

In the US, grain commodities were first traded in the 19th century to meet the food needs of the nation. The number of commodities grew greatly in the latter part of the 20th century. It saw the rise of other agricultural products including livestock. Metals and energy commodities also became important at this time.

Current Exchanges

Today, commodities are mostly traded on mercantile exchanges. Most exchanges specialize in one or more kind of commodity. Many only exchange agricultural commodities while others specialize in energy.

Over the past few decades, CME Group has consolidated many of the US commodities exchanges. They now operate the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (from which they get their name), the Chicago Board of Trade, and the New York Mercantile Exchange.

What Are the Main Commodities?

Commodities can generally be divided into four categories:

  1. Agricultural: This category includes food crops (e.g., corn, cotton, soybeans, and orange juice), livestock (e.g., feeder cattle, lean hogs, and pork bellies) and industrial crops (e.g., lumber, rubber, and wool).
  2. Energy: These include petroleum products such as crude oil and RBOB gasoline, natural gas, heating oil, coal, uranium (used to produce nuclear energy), ethanol (used as a gasoline additive), and electricity; a subset of energy commodities are the environmental commodities, which includes products such as carbon emissions, renewable energy certificates, and white certificates.
  3. Metals: Precious metals (e.g., gold, silver, platinum, and palladium) and base metals (e.g., aluminum, nickel, steel, iron ore, tin, and zinc).
  4. Cryptocurrencies: Although some will dispute them being commodities, they are normally thought of as such; they include Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.

These four categories contain dozens of traded commodities. The following are traded the most in financial markets:

Agricultural

Coffee: The global coffee industry is enormous. In the US alone, it accounts for more than 1.6% of GDP and an estimated 1.7 million jobs. As a commodity, it is intriguing for at least two reasons. Most of its supply comes from just five countries. At the same time, demand for coffee continues to grow as emerging market economies develop a taste for it.

Corn: Corn is a commodity with several important applications in the global economy. It is a food source for humans and livestock. And it is used in the production of ethanol fuel. The high cost of sugar in the United States has made corn a key ingredient in sweetening products such as ketchup, soft drinks, and candies. Growing food and fuel demand should drive continued interest in corn as a commodity.

Sugar: Sugar is known mostly as a sweetener. But it plays an important role in the production of ethanol fuel as well. Historically, governments across the world have intervened heavily in the sugar market. Subsidies and tariffs on imports often distort prices and make sugar challenging to trade. Although sugar cane is grown all over the world, three-quarters of all production comes from just ten countries.

Soybeans: Soybeans play a critical role in the global food ecosystem. Soybean oil is used in bread, crackers, cakes, cookies, and salad dressings. It also serves as a feedstock in the production of biofuels. The meal from crushed soybeans serves as the main source of food for livestock. The growing need for food and fuel in emerging market economies could drive demand for soybeans. Three countries – the US, Brazil, and Argentina – account for 80% of global production.

Wheat: Wheat grows on six continents and for centuries has been one of the most important food crops in the world. Traders compare wheat prices to other grains such as corn, oats, and barley. Since these commodities can be substituted for one another, changes in their relative prices can shift demand between them and to other products such as soybeans. Demand for cheap and nutritious food sources in developing nations should continue to drive interest in the wheat market.

Energy

Crude Oil: This commodity has the largest impact on the global economy. Not only is crude oil used in transportation including in cars, trains, jets, and ships, it is also used in the production of plastics, synthetic textiles (acrylic, nylon, spandex, and polyester), fertilizers, computers, cosmetics, and more. If you take transportation costs into account, crude oil plays a role in the production of pretty much every commodity.

Crude oil has different variations based on geography and physical characteristics: West Texas Intermediate (WTI), also known as light sweet crude, and Brent Crude are two of the most frequently traded varieties.

Natural Gas: Natural gas is used in various industrial, residential, and commercial applications including electricity generation. It is considered a clean fossil fuel source and has seen increasing demand recently. The United States and Russia have emerged as the leading producers of it.

Gasoline: The main use of this refined crude oil product (normally called reformulated gasoline blendstock for oxygen or RBOB gasoline) is as a source of fuel for cars, light-duty trucks, and motorcycles. Gasoline prices can have a large effect on the economy since demand for it is generally inelastic. This means people’s use of it doesn’t change much based on its price.

Many traders trade crack spreads, which are the differences between crude oil prices and the price of refined crude products such as gasoline.

Metals

Gold: Much of the demand for gold comes from speculators. Many market participants see gold as an alternative to paper money, so its price often moves in the opposite direction of the US dollar. Gold is also used to make jewelry and electronics.

Silver: Many people view silver as the poor man’s gold. Like gold, it’s also traded by speculators and used in a variety of industries and applications including jewelry. Some traders track the ratio between gold and silver prices since it can show how risk-averse traders are.

Copper: Copper has so many uses that it would be almost impossible to build a modern economy without it. Traders often refer to it as Dr Copper. They say copper has a PhD in economics because its price is a reliable barometer of the health of the global economy. In fact, investing in copper is a way to express a bullish view on world GDP.

Cryptocurrencies

The term cryptocurrency covers a broad variety of digital tokens that can serve a number of different purposes. A traditional cryptocurrency like Bitcoin is designed to act as a form of digital currency and a store of value. Others like Ripple or Ethereum are designed to fulfill a specific purpose and are targeted at niche uses.

There are literally thousands of cryptocurrencies. Here are the most important ones:

  1. Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency and is the most valuable and well-known cryptocurrency.
  2. Bitcoin Cash is a hard fork of Bitcoin designed to process larger numbers of transactions at a faster rate than its predecessor.
  3. Litecoin is the silver to Bitcoin’s gold and improves on the Bitcoin concept in many ways. It has been tailored for smaller transactions than Bitcoin.
  4. Ethereum is a smart contract platform that allows developers to create specialized cryptocurrencies. Most ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) are built using Ethereum.
  5. Ripple is designed to work as a blockchain solution that allows banks and payment providers to create more efficient cross-currency transactions.
  6. Monero provides its users with enhanced privacy by using stealth addresses and untraceable transactions.
  7. Dash uses a unique master-node based consensus system to allow instant payment and private transactions.
  8. NEO uses smart contracts to build the “smart economy” of the future.
  9. Verge builds on other privacy-based coins to aims to be more convenient for the everyday user.
  10. Zcash uses a shielded pool to protect the privacy of its users.

How Commodities Are Transferred

Most people who trade commodities never actually possess them. There are many ways that commodities get their prices adjusted on their way to their final destinations.

  • Physical delivery: Commodities eventually are delivered to their final owners. But there are other cases, such as gold, where an investor may hold the physical product — often for an extended period — without taking delivery of it.
  • Commodity futures: Contracts that promise to purchase a set amount of a commodity at a time in the future. These are usually traded on the futures market before the purchase date.
  • Options on Futures: These allow you to speculate on futures using less money but they require even more accuracy in your trading.
  • Commodity Shares: This is an indirect way of trading commodities by owning shares in companies that mine or produce the assets.
  • Commodity ETFs: Many ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds) grant exposure to commodities via investments in commodity futures, options on such futures, or shares in companies that mine or produce commodities. Some also invest in physical bullion. (ETFs trade as shares on exchanges.)
  • CommodityCFDs: Contracts for difference (CFDs) allow traders to speculate on price movements between the time the trade is entered and exited.

What are the Main Drivers of Commodity Prices?

Commodity prices are usually a matter of supply and demand.

Supply shocks — like a bad harvest — can cause prices to go up. An example of a recent demand shock is the reduced use of fuel due to the recent global coronavirus pandemic. Indeed, the pandemic has caused a concurrent supply and demand shock.

In addition to these general economic issues, there a number of things that affect commodity prices.

  • Emerging Markets: The past couple of decades have seen enormous rises in the standards of living in developing economies. So changes in these conditions can have large effects on commodity prices.
  • US Dollar: The value of the US dollar is also a big issue because it is the world’s default currency. If the dollar increases in value, people buying in other currencies may not be able to purchase as much of a commodity.
  • Substitution: Especially as a commodity’s price increases, the viability of alternatives increases. This can have a big effect on prices.
  • Weather: A significant factor, especially with agricultural products.

How To Trade Commodities

Commodity trading is an exciting field where fortunes are made and lost. To be successful at it, you need knowledge — about trading itself as well as the individual commodities traded.

Learn the basics in our guide, How To Trade Commodities. From there, you can learn specifics about commodities like gold and oil. And when you think you are ready, we can provide guidance in finding the right CFD broker.

Here’s a summary…

The Best CFD Brokers

Our proprietary trust score is calculated based on regulation, structure, client fund handling, risk management, and length of operation. We revisit our assessments in order to notify our readers in the event action is taken against these brokers by regulatory agencies.

CFD Broker Trust Score The Good The Bad Sign up
www.plus500.com 90/100 Easy to use platform and leading risk management tools. No phone support, only email and live chat. Start Trading Now
Plus500 Review
www.markets.com 85/100 Proprietary technical analysis features. Limited fundamental analysis features. Start Trading Now
Markets.com Review
www.eToro.com 90/100 Easily copy leading traders. $25 withdrawal fee is quite high compared to other brokers. Start Trading Now
eToro Review
www.CityIndex.co.uk 100/100 Scored a perfect 100 in our broker trust rating. Demo account not linked to live platform. Start Trading Now
City Index Review
www.AvaTrade.com 75/100 Up to 400:1 leverage available. High inactivity fees compared with other brokers. Start Trading Now
AvaTrade Review
www.HYCM.com 85/100 Established 40+ years, which is more than most brokers. Lower leverage maximums than some other brokers. Start Trading Now
HYCM Review
www.easymarkets.com 85/100 Unique dealCancellation feature giving you 1hr to reverse a trade. Account withdrawal time of 3-10 days is slower than other brokers. Start Trading Now
easyMarkets Review
www.Forex.com 100/100 Impressive platform with advanced features. Demo account only available for 30 days Start Trading Now
Forex.com Review
www.Fortrade.com 80/100 Customer support via email, live chat and phone between 9 am and 9 pm Withdrawals can take up to 15 days Start Trading Now
Fortrade Review
www.Pepperstone.com 85/100 Up to 500:1 leverage available. Lack of comprehensive research tools. Start Trading Now
Pepperstone Review
www.XM.com 80/100 Lightning-fast execution on trades. Smaller number of markets (only 700) than some other brokers. Start Trading Now
XM Review

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 76%-80.6% of retail trader accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Summary

Commodities are the building blocks of our economy. The vast and intricate trading system we have developed over the last few hundred years works to bring commodities to where they need to be in the cheapest and most efficient way.

Below are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about commodities.

What is a commodity?

A commodity is a raw material. It is used as an input for the production of other things. For example, steel is used in the construction industry. Another important aspect of a commodity is that it should be interchangeable. Roughly speaking, the source of a commodity doesn’t matter. So steel made in the US should be the same as steel made in India.

What are examples of commodities?

Examples of commodities include steel, oil, and rice.

Steel is a metal commodity used in a wide variety of industries including in construction of highways and buildings.

A typical energy commodity is crude oil, which is primarily used to create RBOB gasoline but also has applications far outside energy production.

Rice is used in many ways like the manufacture of breakfast cereals. Like most agricultural commodities, however, rice is also consumed directly.

Are cryptocurrencies commodities?

Cryptocurrencies aren’t usually considered to be commodities nor are they usually considered to be currencies. They defy classification.

However, given that most of them can be used in one of the three ways that define a commodity (i.e., they can be used, speculated on, and traded) we believe that cryptocurrencies are best classified as commodities.

What are the commodity prices today?

Commodity prices are constantly changing — throughout the day of trading and over the course of decades. Prices change because of changes in the supply and demand of a commodity.

Some of these are predictable like the yearly price cycle of many agricultural commodities. Others are not, like the greatly reduced demand (and price) for metals after the housing crash of 2008.

Brokers provide access to real-time commodity prices so that you can make buying and selling decisions based on up-to-date information.

How to Start Trading Commodities Online

Trading commodities online is a relatively simple process, but it is not an activity that you should pursue without doing lots of homework.

The traditional method of calling a commodity broker to place orders and waiting for a call back to give you a filled order price is less efficient than online trading. Therefore, if you want to trade commodities online, there are some important factors to keep in mind.

Choosing a Commodity Broker

Commodities trading nowadays is either accomplished through the use of ETFs or through the buying and selling of futures contracts. Several online retail brokers offer trading in both of these types of securities, however some brokers specialize in futures trading. You should research both kinds and determine whether you want the extra services and tools that come from brokers offering specialized futures trading, because those items come at an additional cost. Other online brokers, such as Interactive Brokers and Options Express, offer excellent products, good service, and low commission rates.

Commodities Account Paperwork

Every commodity broker requires documentation to open an account. The forms require disclosure of financial information and identify the risks involved in trading commodities.

Financial data is critical because commodities are highly leveraged assets (borrowed money for funding). As such, there is always a chance that one can lose more money than initially invested. Therefore, a broker will require information on income, net worth, and creditworthiness to determine if they want to work with you.

Sufficient income, trading experience, and credit are critical elements when a broker considers your suitability. Not everyone who completes the account forms is suitable to open a commodities account. A broker may use discretion on whether a potential customer is an acceptable risk and is suited for commodities trading.

Before You Start Trading Commodities Online

Once you select an online commodity broker, and you receive approval for trading, the next step is to fund the account. While many brokers have minimum limits, it is up to the individual to determine the amount of funding over the required minimum when you open an account. One’s comfort level and risk tolerance are important considerations when funding an account.

Before you commence trading with actual money, it is important to develop a well-researched trading plan. Many commodity brokers offer simulations to practice with before you put capital to work. Training and simulations will familiarize you with placing orders and could save you from making critical order entry errors.

Simulations also help you develop a feel for trading, and help you conceive a plan for approaching the markets in which you want to trade.

When you begin trading commodities online, choose your trades wisely and avoid overtrading. Start small and work with one at a time. If you find yourself placing many trades from the start, you might be getting in too fast, increasing the probability of failing and losing money.​

Advice for New Online Commodities Traders

It is important to understand what the futures and options markets are comprised of. They are derivatives of the actual commodities market, where the physical delivery of the commodities takes place. A derivative is simply security that is based on an underlying asset, in this case, physical commodities.

Therefore, it is important to learn all you can about the underlying supply and demand fundamentals for that commodity and the derivatives that are being traded. There is a wealth of information available for free from the commodity exchanges and trade organizations. Government agencies supply commodity data free of charge.

In the energy markets, the API and EIA (American Petroleum Institute and Energy Information Administration) are excellent sources of information. In grains, soft commodities, and animal protein markets, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issues weekly and monthly reports that include invaluable data and analysis.

Understanding commodities will require paying particular attention to supply and demand. It would also be beneficial to learn how to research changes in the supply and demand of various commodities. For example, learning how to read and understand the crude oil inventories report published weekly by the U.S. Government’s Energy Information Administration, would be a good place to start if you want to trade oil futures.

The futures and options markets in commodities are laden with risk. There is a tremendous amount of leverage in these instruments. While the opportunity exists to make huge gains, the potential for rewards is accompanied by high risk.

Trading Futures and Margin Calls

Trading in futures requires a good-faith deposit or margin (a balance that must be maintained—the maintenance margin). Commodities are a very volatile market. Margin calls requiring additional capital are likely—in the event that the value of your investments drops too much, your broker may initiate a margin call.

A margin call happens when a broker requires you to put more capital into your account because values have fallen below the minimum required equity balance you have to maintain.

A trader that stays at this level of trading is “trading on margin”, a very risky and costly way to trade. If you do not have the capital to support the financial hits, it can require borrowing more money every time you lose money. Many traders lose a tremendous amount of money trading on margins.

Bottom Line

Exercise caution in the commodity markets, do your homework and approach these volatile instruments with care and trepidation. While fortunes can come from commodities trading, the potential for losses is just as great.

Online trading has increased the speed and efficiency of execution. Remember to approach online trading as a business—with a plan, discipline, and precision. Mistakes can be very expensive, so work to keep your trading to a minimum.

The most successful traders are masters of efficiency. Mastering online trading requires a level of expertise that comes from hard work and study. Make sure you use all of the information that is at your disposal. The platforms want you to succeed because a successful customer makes them successful as well.

Lastly, since all commodity futures trading is leveraged and requires the use of margin, you should diligently research and seek education on the rules and effects of trading futures with margin. You should clearly understand how much money you could lose in that environment. You should also research how to minimize the risk of loss while you are trading and spend many hours practicing and honing your skills before you put any money at risk in the endeavor.

How to Start Commodity Trading: A Beginner’s Guide to Commodities

Reading time: 39 minutes

Did you know that commodity trading dates back to ancient civilisation itself?

As far back as 4500 and 4000 BCE in Sumer (now modern day Iraq), there was a commodity market. Locals would use clay tokens as a medium of exchange for goats. Even in 17th century Japan, rice merchants used to sell their stores of rice by selling ‘rice tickets’ (just like clay tokens) to willing buyers.

However, the global commodities market, and commodity trading itself really kicked off when the Chicago Board of Trade was setup in 1848. Now it’s one of the most popular types of markets to trade on, from commercials, institutions, and speculators alike.

Every person engages with commodities every day – from your morning coffee or orange juice, to the crude oil and gas that fuel your car and power your home. What you might not have realised that, as raw materials, each of these are assets that can be invested in, or traded, for a profit.

This is what we’ll be covering in this article. You’ll get a clear definition of commodities, you’ll understand the four main categories of commodities, what drives the commodities market, the different ways you can invest in and trade commodities, and much more.

But first, let’s answer the big question: What are commodities?

What Are Commodities?

The definition of a commodity is a basic good or raw material that is used in commerce. These individual commodities are usually the building blocks for more complex goods or services. For example, sugar and cocoa are both commodities that are the building blocks of a chocolate bar.

What separates commodities from other goods is the fact they are interchangeable and standardised, with their values set by the relevant commodity exchange. This means that no matter who or where a commodity is produced, two equivalent units of the commodity will, more or less, have the same quality and price. So 500 grams of sugar will have the same value whether it is produced in India, Brazil or Thailand.

Historically, commodities were traded physically, while today, most commodity trading takes place online.

If you’re ready to trade some of the most popular commodities online, you can do so with Admiral Markets! We offer a range of commodities for online trading via CFDs, including crude oil, natural gas, coffee, orange juice and even gold! Learn more about trading gold below.

The 4 Categories of the Commodity Market

So what are the different types of commodities traded in the commodity markets?

Generally speaking, commodities are either extracted, grown, or produced. There are four main categories that define the commodity market:

  • Agricultural Commodities: This includes raw goods such as sugar, cotton, coffee beans, etc.
  • Energy Commodities: This includes petrol products like oil and gas.
  • Metal Commodities: This includes precious metals such as gold, silver and platinum, but also base metals like copper.
  • Livestock Commodities: This includes pork bellies, live cattle and general livestock, as well as meat commodities.

When trading in commodities, you also encounter terms like hard commodities and soft commodities. Hard commodities are mostly those that are mined (gold, oil, etc.) and soft are agricultural commodities or animals (wheat, soybeans, pork, sugar, etc.).

As you can imagine, some commodities are traded more actively than others. For example, the Feeder Cattle market may only involve the farmer and the distribution company of the stock – thereby not producing that much trading activity. In fact, according to TradingView, the total trading volume of Feeder Cattle for September 2020 was 36,000 contracts. This number represents how many contracts, for the right to buy or sell feeder cattle, have been bought and sold.

However, a market like oil will involve public drilling companies, government backed drilling companies, service companies like BP and Shell, airlines who are actively involved in buying and selling oil to keep their fuel costs in check and, of course, speculators. According to TradingView, the total trading volume of Crude Oil for September 2020 was nearly 14 million contracts – a huge difference from Feeder Cattle.

Over the following sections, we outline which commodities are the most commonly traded in the financial markets.

Agricultural Commodities

Coffee: Coffee is one of the world’s favourite beverages with 2.25 billion cups being consumed a day. It’s also one of the world’s favourite commodity markets, being the second most-traded market after petroleum.

Sugar: Both white and raw sugar are traded as commodities. While most of us think of sugar as a sweetener, it also plays a key role in the production of ethanol. The market is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 2.9% to reach USD89.24 billion in 2024.

Energy Commodities

Crude Oil: Crude oil is a popular commodity for trading because it can be very volatile. With the top producers of crude oil, including Saudi Arabia, the US, Russia and China, this is a market that is very reactive to political events. Demand for this commodity is also high, because crude oil is used for transportation fuel, the production of plastics, synthetic textiles, fertilisers, computers, cosmetics and more. The major oil benchmarks are WTI and Brent Crude Oil.

Natural Gas: This commodity has a range of industrial, residential and commercial uses, including generating electricity. The top natural gas producers are Gazprom, Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil, PetroChina and BP.

Metal Commodities

Gold: Gold is another popular commodity. Known as a safe haven asset, gold is typically where investors put their money when markets are in turmoil. This means gold is often inversely correlated with the US dollar.

Silver: While gold is the most popular metal commodity for trading, silver also has some advantages. One of these is that the silver price tends to move a lot faster than the gold price, making it attractive for active commodity traders. Gold, on the other hand, has a higher value and is often seen as attractive for longer-term investors.

Copper: Copper benefits from consistently high demand, being used for electrical equipment, engineering, plumbing and cooking utensils. It’s price is considered to be a reliable barometer of the global economy, so investing in copper is a way to take a bullish stance on world GDP.

Which Commodities Can You Trade with Admiral Markets?

With Admiral Markets you have access via CFDs to sixteen of the largest commodities traded in the commodity market, plus 10 CFDs on commodity futures. Here is a list of the commodity CFDs available:

  • Arabica Coffee
  • Cocoa
  • Cotton
  • Orange Juice
  • Robusta Coffee
  • Sugar Raw
  • Sugar White
  • Brent Crude Oil
  • WTI Crude Oil
  • Natural Gas

If you’re ready to start trading these commodities, not to mention thousands of other markets like currencies, shares, cryptocurrencies and more, you can do so by clicking the banner below.

To get started, all you’ll need to do is:

  1. Sign up for a trading account (this will take you to Trader’s Room).
  2. Open a live or demo trading account from your Trader’s Room dashboard.
  3. Download the MetaTrader 5 trading software.
  4. Start trading!

What Drives Commodity Prices?

Each individual commodity has unique factors that affect its price. Huge price swings in the commodity market can occur when the scarcity or abundance of a commodity is threatened. Overall the biggest influence across all commodities boils down to changes in supply and demand, however, other elements like the US dollar, substitution and weather can also have an impact.

Commodity Supply

The supply of a commodity can be influenced by a multitude of factors, such as government intervention, weather, war, and so on.

For example, on September 14 2020, a swarm of explosive drones attacked the world’s biggest oil processing plant in Saudi Arabia, reducing global oil production by 5 million barrels a day. This accounts for nearly half Saudia Arabia’s current output and 5% of global production and the event triggered a record surge in oil prices.

When the market opened on September 16, Brent Crude Oil spiked from 60.42 on the evening of September 13 to 72.19 at market open on September 16 – a jump of 19.4%. Over the same period, WTI Crude Oil leaped 15.5% – from 54.79 to 63.28.

Source: Admiral Markets MT5 Supreme Edition – WTI Daily Chart – Data range: 9 January 2020, to 7 October 2020 – Performed on 7 October 2020 at 11:55am EET – Please Note: Past performance does not indicate future results, nor is it a reliable indicator of future performance.

Why? Less oil was available in the marketplace. But because demand had not changed, commercials and institutions scrambled to get their hands on whatever oil was left. This ‘scarcity’ typically leads to a price increase.

When it comes to commodities trading, it pays to remember that the supply of energy commodities are mostly affected by government policy (such as economic sanctions) and Middle Eastern tensions as Saudi Arabia have one fifth of the world’s proven oil reserves.

Commodity Demand

The demand of a commodity can be influenced by a multitude of factors, such as changes in consumer habits and the health of the economy. For example, many peoples’ habits around consuming sugar have changed. People are actively trying to consume less sugar. If enough people see it through, then demand shrinks accordingly. In the chart below, we can see sugar prices for an extended period:

Source: Admiral Markets MT5 Supreme Edition – Sugar.White Daily Chart – Data range: 27 March 2005 to 11 November 2020 – Performed on 11 November 2020 at 8:31 PM GMT

The yellow boxes in the chart above highlight the sharp declines in the price of sugar beginning in 2020.

The yellow box in the chart above highlight the sharp declines in the price of sugar beginning in 2020. However, there was a move higher between September 2020 to September 2020, due to concerns over a global shortage. In fact, it was because of a supply disruption to a Brazilian cane crop (which is the world’s largest producer), that helped sugar to become ‘scarce’, and thereby caused prices to move higher.

However, in this particular instance, while a change in weather caused sugar prices to push higher during that period of time, the bigger issue of demand played out in the end, sending prices back down. This is one reason why trading commodity CFDs could have been helpful in this ‘sugar’ scenario.

With commodity CFDs you can profit from a falling market, as well as a rising market – as long as you get the direction right. So, now you know a little more about the factors that drive commodity prices, as well as a popular vehicle to trade commodities from, how can you start commodities trading risk free today?

With a free demo account from Admiral Markets, you can trade thousands of the world’s financial markets (including energy, metal and agricultural commodities) risk free! Simply click the banner below to sign up and start trading today!

The Relationship between the US Dollar and Commodities

Along with supply and demand, the behaviour of the US dollar can also influence commodity prices.

The US dollar is the world’s reserve currency, and in international markets, commodities are priced in USD. This means that when the value of the dollar drops against other currencies, it takes more dollars to purchase commodities than it does when dollars are valued more highly. This means that commodity prices in USD are higher.

In addition, gold is seen as a safe haven asset, and is often where investors turn when the value of the USD goes down, particularly in times of economic turmoil. So gold not only benefits from being priced higher in USD, but it also benefits from further investment, which can lead to larger jumps than traders might see in other commodities.

Commodity Substitution

Substitutions simply means that markets will look for cheaper alternatives where possible. As a particular commodity becomes more expensive, buyers will look for cheaper options. If they find a suitable alternative, they will start purchasing that, which reduces the demand for the commodity and can result in the price going down.

One example is copper, which is used in a range of industrial applications. As the price of copper has increased, many manufacturers have started using aluminium instead.

How Weather Affects Commodity Prices

Weather can also influence commodity prices. In particular, abnormal or unexpected weather changes like extreme rain or drought can have a significant impact on agricultural commodities. Simply, commodities like cocoa, coffee, and orange juice are harvested and grown, and therefore need consistent weather cycles for crops to grow.

Having said that, the weather can also influence energy commodity prices, as severe winters increase the demand for heading, which in turn increases the demand for heating oil and natural gas. The same goes for extreme warm weather, which increases the need for air conditioning. This raises the demand for the commodities involved in electricity production, like natural gas and coal.

The Top 3 Reasons to Start Trading Commodities

While there are a range of reasons to start trading commodities, there are three reasons that make commodities an interesting investment for today’s traders. These are the growing global population, inflation hedging and portfolio diversification.

How Population Growth Impacts Commodity Markets

Global population growth has exploded since the beginning of the twentieth century, with the global population now reaching 7.7 billion. While the annual growth rate is slowing, it’s still sitting around 1% a year, which means that number will continue to climb.

Population growth then creates demand for infrastructure, which could have a significant impact on the demand for both metal and energy commodities. In addition, more people means there are more mouths to feed, which will affect the demand for agricultural commodities.

Ultimately, more people leads to more demand, which means that commodity prices are likely to continue to increase over the long term.

How Commodities Can Hedge Against Inflation

Inflation is the rate at which prices increase, and means that today’s money will have less purchasing power in future. In terms of commodities, it means it will cost more dollars to purchase the same amount of a given commodity in future.

By investing in commodities directly, however, savvy traders can protect themselves from these price increases, and could potentially benefit from selling the commodities for a higher price in future.

How Commodities Can Diversify Your Portfolio

Many investors do not have a diversified portfolio. In many western countries, the bulk of a household’s net worth is tied up in their property. Meanwhile, those who do invest tend to stick to stocks or bonds.

The issue with this is that if the market in which you are investing has a down turn (e.g. if the real estate or stock market crashes), your portfolio will take a significant hit. If you have invested in a range of assets, on the other hand, the individual investments in falling markets will be affected, but the overall portfolio will be insulated, as other markets will remain stable or might even climb.

Commodities are one asset class that can be added to your portfolio to create diversification and better manage risk.

How Did the Commodity Markets Develop?

Now that you have an understanding of the commodity markets, and the top reasons to trade them, where and when did these markets originate? While the precise birthdate of commodities trading is a bit hard to pinpoint, many believe that commodity trading is as old as human civilisation itself.

One example of commodity trading is the trading of rice as the first commodity in China, 6,000 years ago. Another is when the Sumerians began using clay tokens to purchase livestock between 4,000 and 4,500 BC.

It was the Greeks and Romans, though, who chose gold and silver as their preferred currencies, which meant gold because the first widely traded commodity of the ancient world.

It wasn’t until a few centuries ago, however, that the modern commodity market developed through futures trading.

Futures are contracts that allow two parties (a buyer and a seller) to agree to make a transaction at a future date at a set price. This price is set regardless of the market value of the asset at the expiration date of the contract.

The most well-known example of historical commodity futures trading was in the 1800s in the US, when Midwestern farmers would bring their grain crops to Chicago for storage before they were due to be shipped to the East Coast. However, while they were in storage, the prices for these grains was subject to change. This might be due to an increase in supply or demand, or the quality deteriorating in storage.

Rather than being vulnerable to unexpected price changes, the parties involved created forward contracts that required the seller to deliver a certain amount of grain for a agree-upon price at the expiration date of the contract. In exchange for this obligation, the seller would be paid up front for the grains.

Unfortunately, these forward contracts weren’t very efficient, and also left the buyer carrying most of the risk due to the seller being paid up front. With this in mind, commodity futures contracts were developed, which kept the terms defining the commodity to be delivered, the expiration date and the delivery terms. The difference was that these contracts were established via a centralised clearing house – the Chicago Board of Trade -, who would act as a counterparty to both the buyer and seller in the transaction, which eliminated the risk of default.

For the next hundred years, agricultural products were the primary commodities traded on futures exchanges. However, in the mid 1900s, cotton, lard, livestock and precious metals were gradually introduced to the exchanges.

It wasn’t until the 1970s that new financial products began to be developed – products that allowed people to speculate on the changing prices of commodities, without having to purchase or sell the physical commodity.

If you’re ready to start trading, one of the first steps is downloading a trading platform.

MetaTrader 5 is the world’s number 1 multi-asset trading platform, which you can use to monitor and trade thousands of markets – shares, Forex, cryptocurrencies, and commodities. The good news is that you can download it now, absolutely free!

To download MetaTrader 5, click the banner below and start trading the live markets today.

How to Invest in Commodities

There are a range of ways you can trade commodities, including investing in the physical commodity itself, trading commodity futures, trading commodity options, trading commodity ETFs, trading commodity shares, and trading CFDs on commodities. We outline each of these options below.

Invest in Physical Commodities

One way to invest in commodities is to go directly to the source and purchase your goods (e.g. purchase oil, or gold, or sugar directly). Over time, if prices rise, you could find a buyer and pocket the difference in profit.

Of course, is it really that feasible for you to go and find a producer and seller of oil, or sugar, to buy the goods from? You would then have to find a buyer for your goods as well. Oh, and let’s not forget that you will have to store your goods, as commodities are physical products!

Producers of sugar only sell in quantities of 112,000 pounds. That’s about eight and a half times the weight of an elephant. Could you store that much? It’s quite unlikely! Also, let’s not forget the fact that volatility in commodities tends to be higher than stocks and bonds, as there are more supply and demand issues affecting the price.

In addition, you would need to consider storage for your investment. If you were to buy precious metals (fortunately, these are available in smaller quantities than sugar), you would need a secure storage facility, which increases the cost and complexity of your investment.

Trade Commodity Futures

As we discussed earlier, futures are contracts where a seller agrees to sell a fixed quantity of a certain commodity on a particular day in the future to a buyer. The buyer of the futures contract would agree on a fixed price to buy the underlying commodity from the seller on the expiration date of the contract.

Historically, at the expiration of the futures contract, the commodity would change hands from the buyer to the seller. However, today many traders use futures as a vehicle for speculating on commodity prices, and have no intention of taking ownership of the commodity once the contract expires.

Simply, if the commodity price rises between the purchase date of the contract and the expiration date of the contract, the trader can sell the futures contract at a profit. If the price falls, the trader will make a loss.

One of the benefits of trading commodity futures is the use of leverage, which allows traders to make a larger trade than what they could purchase outright with their available funds. For instance, if a futures contract is offered with leverage of 1:10, this means that for dollar the trader is willing to invest, they can access $10 worth of the commodity in question.

This can amplify trading profits, but can also amplify trading losses. Learn more about leverage here.

While leverage can make futures trading attractive to new traders, futures trading is highly complex as there are many factors to take into consideration when evaluating market pricing and predicting the direction in which it will move. For instance, along with looking at the current price of a commodity, it is also important to consider the cost of storage and interest rates and how they might influence commodity prices.

Trading Commodity Options

Like futures, options are another type of derivative that allows you to trade on the changing value of a commodity without having to purchase the commodity outright. Options also benefit from leverage, like futures.

There are two types of options contracts – calls and puts.

The owner of a call option has the right but not the obligation to buy a commodity futures contract at a set price (the strike price) on or before a certain date (the expiration date). The owner of a put option, on the other hand, has the right but not the obligation to sell a futures contract at the strike price on or before the expiration date.

If the price of the future becomes higher than the strike price, a call option can be sold for a profit. For a put option, the reverse is true – the price of the future needs to fall below the strike price.

This means options traders not only need to consider how market pricing will change in their strategy, but also the timing of those changes.

Commodity ETFs

An ETF, or an exchange-traded fund, is a fund that invests in a group of financial assets. As a trader, you can then invest in these funds via a broker, or on a stock exchange.

ETFs are most well-known for containing bundles of stocks, however, some ETFs invest in physical commodities like gold bullion, while others invest in commodity futures or options.

With this in mind, the risks involved with trading ETFs mirror the risks of the assets they contain. ETFs that invest in physical commodities will carry similar risks to investing in physical commodities, while those that invest in futures carry similar risks to buying futures directly, for example.

One of the main advantages of investing in commodity ETFs is the diversity that comes with investing in a range of assets via a fund, rather than picking individual assets to invest in. However, this can also mean you miss out on large movements that take place in individual commodities.

Commodity Shares

By ‘commodity shares’, we mean the shares of companies that produce commodities. The theory is that these companies’ revenues are based on the price of the commodity they are selling – if the price of the commodity increases, so too should a company’s revenues and its share price.

However, the challenge with this approach is that there are risks to a commodity producer’s revenue in addition to the factors that can influence commodity prices. These include:

  • Market competition
  • Costs of doing business
  • Interest rates
  • Local economy performance
  • Price/earnings growth/contraction

Trading Commodity CFDSs

Like options and futures, CFDs (Contracts for Difference) are another derivative instrument that can be used to trade commodities.

CFDs allow traders to speculate on the changing prices of commodities, and other assets, without ever owning the commodity in question. They were originally developed in the early 1990s in London, by two investment bankers at UBS Warburg.

Essentially, a CFD is a contract between two parties – the trader and the broker. At the end of the contract, the two parties exchange the difference between the price of the commodity at the time they entered into the contract, and the price of the commodity at the end.

So if you opened a long (buy) CFD trade on gold when gold was priced at $1,525, and you closed the trade after the price of gold rose to $1,550, you would make a profit on the difference in the gold price, or $25. If the price fell to $1,500, you would make a loss of $25. In simple terms, the trader is paying the difference between the opening and closing price of the commodity they are trading.

The simplicity of entering and exiting positions, compared to other trading vehicles like options and futures, is just one reason why trading commodity CFDs is very popular. That’s not to say it’s easy, but there are certain benefits, such as:

  • Leverage – a retail trader can trade positions twenty times their account equity. A professional trader can trade positions five hundred times their equity.
  • 24h/5d – traders can trade twenty fours a day, five days a week, accessing opportunities from a variety of commodities all around the world.
  • Zero commission – traders can trade with zero commissions, and can start with just 200 euros in their account.
  • Profit from a rising and falling market – if you get the direction right of course! Otherwise, losses can occur.

However, there are even more benefits to trading commodity CFDs with Admiral Markets, such as:

  • Negative balance protection policy, which means that if your account balance drops below 0, Admiral Markets will reset it at 0, rather than letting you fall into trading debt
  • Low trading costs, including spreads from 0 pips
  • A free, premium analytics portal that includes news feeds from Dow Jones newswires with up to 850 articles a day, market sentiment widgets, economic calendars and more
  • Access to the world’s most popular trading platforms, MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5

Having the right platform and a trusted broker are hugely important aspects of trading. Admiral Markets is an award-winning broker that offers the ability to trade on commodities via CFDs, not to mention other markets like Forex, stocks and ETFs and much more.

This is all made possible with the state-of-the-art trading platform MetaAdmiral Markets offers MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 with the exclusive MetaTrader Supreme Edition plugin.

With MetaTrader Supreme Edition, traders have access to a range of additional tools to boost their trading, including an indicator package of 16 new indicators, technical insight and trading ideas provided by Trading Central, and the new trading terminal, which provides advanced trading features like partially closing trades.

To download MetaTrader Supreme Edition for free, click the banner below!

Commodity CFD Trading Example

With CFDs, you can both buy and sell commodities, which means you can make a profit in both rising and falling markets. You also benefit from leverage, as discussed earlier, which means you can access much larger positions than what you could purchase outright with the money on your trading account.

Let’s look at a commodity example trade. You think the price of Brent crude oil is going to fall, so you decide to open a sell, or short, trade. Essentially, you would open the trade at one price and if the price fell, you would close the trade and pocket the difference as profit.

In this example, the market price of Brent crude oil is $72.16 per barrel. One lot (the standard size of a CFD) is 1,000 pounds. Therefore, the value of one lot of Brent would be $7,216.

The available financial leverage you have is 1:10, so to open a trade on one lot, or $7,216, of Brent crude oil, you would need to have $722 on your trading account. ($7,216/10 = $722).

If you opened a short commodity trade at 72.16, and then closed it at 56.60 cents per pound, the difference between the opening price of the trade and the closing price of the trade would be $15.56.

Depicted: Brent crude oil Daily Chart – Admiral Markets MetaTrader 5. Disclaimer: Charts for financial instruments in this article are for illustrative purposes and does not constitute trading advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any financial instrument provided by Admiral Markets (CFDs, ETFs, Shares). Past performance is not necessarily an indication of future performance.

To figure out your profit, you would need to multiply that price difference by the size of the trade, and by the value of a one point movement. Both the contract size and point value vary for different commodities, so it’s important to be aware of this in advance.

In this case, your trade was one lot, or 100 barrels of the commodity Brent crude oil. And the value of a one point (0.01) movement is $0.90. This gives us:

(72.16 – 56.60) x 100 = $1,556

15.56 x 100 x $1 = $1,556

So you would make a profit on the trade of $1,556! Just remember that if the price of Brent had gone up rather than down, you would have made a loss.

You can learn more about this formula in our beginner’s guide to CFD trading. The formula for calculating your profit/loss is the same for every commodity – price difference x contract size x value of a one point movement. Just remember that the contract size and point movement values are different for each instrument, so need to be considered in your trading strategy.

Commodity Trading Costs

It’s important to keep in mind that your trading profit isn’t simply the difference between the opening and closing price of the trade – you also need to consider the costs of trading.

When trading commodity CFDs, there are three potential costs to consider:

  • Spreads: The spread is the difference between the bid (buy) and ask (sell) price of a financial instrument. For example, if the bid price of the Gold is 1491.58, and the ask price is 1491.78, that is a difference of 0.20. For a trade to be profitable, it will need to cross this spread.
  • Swaps: If you keep trades open overnight, a fee or adjustment gets charged at 23:59 in the platform’s time zone.
  • Commissions: Some instruments are also charged a commission for opening and closing trades. At Admiral Markets, Share and ETF CFDs, Shares and ETFs, and Forex and commodities in our Zero.MT4 account are charged commissions.

So, to calculate your commodity trading profit, you’ll need to subtract the cost of trading from the formula above.

How Can I Improve My Commodity Trading Results?

We’ve introduced commodities and have shared the different ways you can trade them. However, we haven’t covered what it takes to successfully invest in or trade commodities.

While there are no guarantees, there are a number of things you can do to improve your chances of success when trading commodities. These include:

  1. Get educated
  2. Analyse the market
  3. Manage your risk
  4. Diversify your portfolio

1. Get Educated

There are a wide range of resources available to kickstart your trading journey, including free webinars, seminars, courses, articles and more.

A demo trading account is another good way to learn how to trade – particularly when it comes to the mechanics of opening and closing trades and seeing how the markets work. However, a demo account can’t teach you about your trading psychology, or how you manage money, so it’s important to make the leap to a live trading account when you feel ready.

If you are new to trading, you can start educating yourself with our free trading webinars are the best place to learn from professional trading experts. Receive step-by-step guides on how to use the best strategies and indicators, and receive expert opinions on the latest developments in the live markets. Click the banner below to register for free trading webinars today!

2. Analyse the Commodity Market

To make successful commodity trades, it’s important to understand the reasons you are making those trades. Why do you believe a commodity is going to go up or down?

Most commodity analysis falls into two categories: fundamental analysis and technical analysis.

Fundamental analysis focuses on analysing economic factors that could influence the price of different commodities – particularly those that relate to supply and demand, like we discussed earlier. This might mean paying attention to:

  • Macroeconomic data, like trends in GDP, unemployment and retail sales. These are all clues about the strength of an economy, and is often related to the strength or weakness of industrial commodity prices.
  • The strength of the end markets of different commodities, which will influence demand for those commodities.
  • Level of supply, which can be assessed in reports like the USDA’s Cattle on Feed report. This report indicates the future supply of cattle coming on to the market, and can offer clues about beef prices.
  • Market cycles, such as whether the markets are in a bull or bear cycle. This involves long-term analysis of market trends to make judgements about what’s happening today.
  • Changing policies from large economies and how they might influence commodity demand.

As you can see, there are a lot of things to keep in mind! And, if you’re not a full time trader with a team of research analysts at your disposal, it may prove to be difficult to track weather formations and government policy.

That’s why many traders also use technical analysis to help with their trading decisions. So what is technical analysis of the commodity market? It is simply looking at patterns and indicators on a price chart for a particular commodity, for clues on its future direction.

For example, one tool that is popular among traders is moving averages, as they help determine the overall direction, or trend of a market. Essentially, they calculate a user-defined number of previous closing prices to find the ‘average’ price of the market. This line is then plotted on the chart so the trader can see the average trend of prices, historically.

Depicted: NGAS Daily Chart – Admiral Markets MetaTrader 5. Disclaimer: Charts for financial instruments in this article are for illustrative purposes and does not constitute trading advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any financial instrument provided by Admiral Markets (CFDs, ETFs, Shares). Past performance is not necessarily an indication of future performance.

In the chart above, the red moving average line represents the average of the last fifty bars. The green line represents the average of the last one hundred bars. What you’ll notice is that when the price bars are below the fifty moving average, and that is below the one hundred moving average, prices tend to accelerate lower. This is a common occurrence in most markets exhibiting a similar behaviour. This is just one type of free indicator, among many, available to use on the Admiral Markets MT5 platform.

In this instance, we can say that sellers are in control of the gold market. At this stage, you may not know the fundamental reason causing the weakness. However, using other technical analysis tools can help to stack the overall probability in your favour. For example, you could use price action patterns to analyse the behaviour of buyers and sellers within a commodity market, for clues on what could happen next.

Depicted: NGAS Daily Chart – Admiral Markets MetaTrader 5. Disclaimer: Charts for financial instruments in this article are for illustrative purposes and does not constitute trading advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any financial instrument provided by Admiral Markets (CFDs, ETFs, Shares). Past performance is not necessarily an indication of future performance.

In the example provided above, the yellow boxes highlight different examples of pin bar reversal patterns that are widely used by traders. The pattern shows buyers trying to push the market higher, but then allowing sellers to step in and take control of the market, pushing it back down, in line with the overall trend. Some of the moves lower only last a few days, and some a few weeks.

With a demo account, you can practice identifying these types of setups, as well as other technical analysis tools, until you find the right approach for you. Of course, the right approach isn’t always going to be a 100% winner. Losing trades is simply part of the game. That’s why starting commodities trading risk free will with a demo account also helps you to develop the correct mindset of a trader.

3. Manage Your Commodity Trading Risk

Many traders consider trading commodities – particularly commodity CFDs – because access to leverage means they can trade large positions with a relatively small deposit, and amplify their profits as a result.

However, it’s important to remember that leverage magnifies losses to the same extent as profits, which means it increases the risk of this type of trading – particularly when compared with traditional investing.

This is why risk management is essential. There are a number of ways you can manage risk, and some common ones include:

  • Effective money management: Don’t trade with money you can’t afford to lose.
  • Sensible position sizing: A general rule of thumb is that a single trade shouldn’t risk more than 2% of your account balance. So if you have $1,000 on your account, you wouldn’t want to risk more than $20 per trade. If your account balance increases or decreases, so too will your maximum risk per trade.
  • Using stop losses and take profits: Stop losses and take profits are automatic levels you set at which your trade will close, meaning you don’t need to manually close it. A stop loss is designed to prevent you from losing more than expected – if an instrument moves too far against you, the trade will close. A take profit is the opposite – a trade will close automatically once it has achieved a certain level of profit.
  • Following a clear strategy: Many new commodity traders open a number of random trades and hope one of them will work. Worse, if they lose, they might open larger and larger trades in the hope of recouping their losses in one big win. Instead, you should always follow a strategy – one that defines how much you will risk, when you will open trades and when you will close them.

4. Diversify Your Portfolio with Commodities

Do you know the expression ‘Don’t put all your eggs in one basket?’ The same goes for investing – you don’t want to put all of your funds into one asset, or one market, because if it goes down you could lose everything.

Instead, it’s important to build a portfolio that tracks a wide range of assets, including commodities. So you might have a portfolio that includes:

  • Metal commodities like gold and silver
  • Energy commodities like natural gas and crude oil
  • Agricultural commodities like sugar and coffee
  • Shares from a range of markets – the US, Europe, Asia-Pacific
  • Indices, representing entire markets
  • Bonds
  • And more!

The good news is that you can invest in all of these markets via CFDs with Admiral Markets.

Choosing a Commodity Trading Broker

If you’re looking for a broker to start trading commodity CFDs, there are a number of things to keep in mind to ensure you not only choose a legitimate, reputable broker, but also that the broker is offering the best possible conditions and tools to help you get the best trading results.

Some things to consider include:

  • Regulation: Is the broker regulated, ideally by the financial authority in your area?
  • Awards: Has the broker won any awards? The financial markets are very competitive, and the same goes for brokers trying to get your business. The good news is that this means there are many broker awards available, which can give you a good sense of who has the best platform, the best customer support, and more.
  • Range of markets: What markets does the broker offer? Some brokers may only offer Forex, or cryptocurrencies, or shares. As we mentioned earlier, diversifying your portfolio is one of the keys to success in trading, and it may be easier to diversify with a broker who has a wide range of instruments on offer.
  • Trading platform: Which platform does the broker offer? Is it easy to use, even if you’re a beginner? Is there a lot of support available if you run into questions?
  • Cost of trading: How much does it cost to trade? Remember to look at spreads, commissions and swaps.
  • Customer support: How do they offer support? Is there a real person you can call, or do you need to rely on support forums?

The good news is that, if you’re searching for a commodity CFD broker, you’ve come to the right place. Admiral Markets is an award-winning CFD and Forex broker with over 30 international awards.

We offer trading on thousands of markets, including CFDs on commodities, Forex, shares, cryptocurrencies, indices, bonds and ETFs. We also offer trading via the world’s favourite trading platforms – MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. As the world’s most popular trading platforms, there is a wide range of support available for both of these.

We work hard to keep our trading costs low for you, with very competitive typical spreads (2.1 pips for Silver, and 3 pips for Brent crude oil and WTI crude oil). In addition, commissions start from just $0.01 per share for shares, ETFs and share and ETF CFDs.

Finally, we have a presence in 35 countries with support via phone, email and in local offices – in your language, when you need it.

If you’re ready to get started, click the banner below to open your trading account today.

Trading on the Commodity Exchange

As physical goods, commodities are an interesting asset for new traders. While other markets, like Forex, indices and even crypto, might seem strange and abstract, we all understand what a barrel of oil, or a pound of sugar, or a bar of gold is.

The challenge is trading it effectively! We hope this guide helped. If you made it this far, you now have an overview of the main commodity markets, along with what affects commodity prices. You know the different ways you can invest in and trade commodities as well, from buying the physical assets to trading via commodity CFDs.

Keen to keep learning? Then check out these articles:

About Admiral Markets

Admiral Markets is a multi-award winning, globally regulated Forex and CFD broker, offering trading on over 8,000 financial instruments via the world’s most popular trading platforms: MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. Start trading today!

This material does not contain and should not be construed as containing investment advice, investment recommendations, an offer of or solicitation for any transactions in financial instruments. Please note that such trading analysis is not a reliable indicator for any current or future performance, as circumstances may change over time. Before making any investment decisions, you should seek advice from independent financial advisors to ensure you understand the risks.

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